Tuesday, 6 October 2015

LEGO Doctor Who set materialises this Christmas

Earlier this month LEGO teased the company's upcoming Doctor Who Ideas set created by fan-designer Andrew Clark. Now, the highly-anticipated set, featuring Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and Jenna Coleman's companion Clara Oswald, has been officially revealed.


Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS® and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls. Regenerate the Doctor and defeat the evil Daleks™ and a Weeping Angel with the help of his extraordinary companion Clara. Then close the doors of the TARDIS and launch into another dimension! Includes 4 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks™.

The set goes on sale from 1st December in time for the holiday season.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hasbro's Transformers ten year box office plan

Hasbro has been watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC Universe (DCU) with envious eyes. The toy company has announced a ten year plan for four more Transformers movies, which will form the bedrock of a transmedia universe. This will most likely include spin-off movies focussing on popular characters such as Bumblebee.

"You’re going to see a new Transformers movie coming from Hasbro and Paramount and Michael Bay and our other partners," said Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis, adding, "We decided that we wanted to plot out the next 10 years of the Transformers franchise, so we got together in a room over a three-month period of time." Davis refers to the likes of Akiva Goldsman, who won an Academy Award for her A Beautiful Mind screenplay.

The franchise is no darling of the critics, but the box office suggests there's a rabid fanbase for Rock'em Sock'em Robots in IMAX 3D.

Brace yourself for more, much more, than meets the eye!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Star Wars Reads Day is on October 10th

The fourth annual Star Wars Reads Day, to encourage fans around the world to read from their favourite Star Wars comics, novels and activity books while promoting literacy, takes place 10th October. This year benefits from the fervour surrounding The Force Awakens.

“We are thrilled to be working so closely with Lucasfilm and our publishing partners in planning this year’s Star Wars Reads Day,” Jeanne Mosure, senior vice president and group publisher for Disney Publishing Worldwide, told USA Today. “The growth of this initiative globally is a true testament to the force of the Star Wars franchise and the importance of reading.”

Publishers including DK Books, Del Rey and Marvel, back producing Star Wars comics, are supporting the campaign.

There will be events across the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and the UK.

Details on individual events can be found on the Star Wars Reads facebook page.

Are you organising a Star Wars Reads event? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

It's a trap! Admiral Ackbar in The Force Awakens

The force is strong with this reunion set some thirty years after Return of the Jedi.

Actor Tim Rose confirms Admiral Ackbar, teased in the Comic-Con 2015 Reel, is returning in The Force Awakens and he is reprising the memorable role.

Rose talked to The Australian about his frustration at the need for secrecy surrounding the next chapter in the popular space opera now owned by Disney.

"I'm very frustrated by that," Rose told AAP in Sydney. "Out of the need to be secret, we're not actually able to get everything we need to do our jobs as well as we could," he said.

"And as someone who has been doing it for 35 years, I find it very frustrating."

Rose goes on tease The Force Awakens: "What I can say about the new movie is that if you were a fan of the original three, you're going to absolutely love this one to bits. You can expect a smorgasbord of people you love."

Who else do you think will return from the original Star Wars trilogy? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Star Wars soundtracks to be reissued on vinyl

The original Star Wars soundtrack was the first vinyl LP I owned at the age of six. It started a soundtrack odyssey that continues to this day.

It became a tradition to listen to the soundtrack weeks before the next Star Wars movie opened in UK cinemas. The rare spoiler track title - Ben's Death and Qui-Gon's Noble End - didn't detract from my enjoyment of the upcoming movie. If anything; it further fuelled my anticipation and excitement for the next installment in George Lucas' space opera.

Sony Classical is reissuing a vinyl and CD box set 8th January 2016. Just weeks after JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens opens in cinemas around the world.

The ultimate vinyl collection is available for pre-order.

What are your first memories of hearing the Star Wars soundtrack? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Hayden Christensen to return as Darth Vader?

Hayden Christensen may reprise his role as Darth Vader and/or Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, if this news tidbit is to be believed!

Making Star Wars was told that: “a team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort.”

There's been much conjecture regarding what role, if any, Anakin Skywalker might play in Disney's new trilogy. This follows the second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens in which Luke describes his father as having the force in the current tense. A force ghost a la Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy? Maybe.

Gareth Edwards' Rogue One is set prior to the events in A New Hope and there's no reason not to envisage Darth Vader making a cameo in the first Star Wars Anthology film, too. An alleged on set sighting of Darth Vader's helmet and working chest piece has only fuelled more rumours. The character has most recently appeared in the brilliant Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD and in Marvel comics.

Either way. Looks like the Dark Lord of the Sith is set to return to a multiplex theatre near you.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Jurassic World director hints at Star Wars

Director Colin Trevorrow hinted at the scope of his upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX in an interview for the Jurassic Park fan podcast Jurassic Cast.

“I obviously can’t talk too much about Star Wars, but the idea of that ‘Universe,’ that word gets thrown around a lot as far as movies are concerned and what people are building, that one’s an actual universe. I think that the size and scope of that. Every kind of story we can think of can be told in the Star Wars universe, because it is endless and boundless.”

I waxed lyrically about how Trevorrow rekindled my enthusiasm for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park franchise in my review for Jurassic World. Can't wait to see what he does with the final chapter in Disney's new Star Wars trilogy, which begins with JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens this December.

In other Star Wars news. Principal photography on Episode VIII has begun with director Rian Johnson (Looper) filming Mark Hamill's scenes at Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Southern Island, which is featured in The Force Awakens and is rumoured to be Luke Skywalker's hideaway.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Original Star Wars trilogy theatrical cuts on Blu-ray?

Disney's about to release brand new steelbook editions of the entire Star Wars saga on Blu-ray disc, ahead of The Force Awakens theatrical release this December, and there's a rumour the Mouse House may bring the original theatrical cuts to the silver platters in the future, too!

That's according to director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) during a Q&A promoting the American Werewolf maze that's opening at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Landis dropped this bombshell. "Did you know Disney, by the way, is putting out the original Star Wars the way it was? So, Disney, they’re like, money on the floor.",

The rights to the distribution of the original trilogy do not revert to Disney until 2020 and Twentieth Century Fox retains the rights to A New Hope in perpetuity. Presumably some kind of deal would have to be struck before the movies could be shown theatrically or made available to the home market. There's a commercial impetus in view of Disney's sizeable investment in Lucasfilm and its most successful franchise.

Would you like to see the original trilogy sans special editions? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Jenna Coleman confirms she's leaving Doctor Who

Jenna Coleman confirms she's leaving the BBC's time-travelling series Doctor Who after three years aboard the TARDIS.

"I have left the Tardis - it's happened," she told BBC Radio 1 on Friday, following reports earlier this week. "I've filmed my last scenes."

The actress who has played Clara - in various guises - since her surprise cameo in Asylum of the Daleks, arguably one of the best episodes of the series to date, went on to say:

"It's been in the works for a very long time," she said, "[Writer] Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a year and a half ago and tried to work out the best place to do it and tell a really good story.

"We're not going to give any details but it will happen at some point this season... We worked out a really good story arc out so hopefully people will love it."

I, for one, will miss Soufflé Girl. Ms Coleman had great chemistry with both co-stars Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. And wish her every success for the future.

Who would you like to see play the Doctor's next companion or do you think Capaldi should fly solo for a while? Let me know in the comments below.

The news series of Doctor Who begins tomorrow on BBC 1 at 7:40PM.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Kylo and the Knights of Ren

The villains in Star Wars always look cooler than the good guys and that tradition continues in The Force Awakens. Enter dark knight Kylo Ren.

"He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren," director JJ Abrams told Entertainment Weekly in August.

"He is not your prototypical moustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way."

"He's full of emotion," added writer Lawrence Kasdan. "No matter how we express ourselves in the world, whether we hide it and act very calm or whether we're very out there and demonstrative, everybody's roiling with emotion. And you want your characters to be that way, too."

Kylo Ren isn't a Sith according to director JJ Abrams. So does this make him an über Darth Vader fanboy as implied in the second teaser trailer? This could be an interesting plot twist, if true, and has prompted a theory I have regarding the fate of another character and their story arc in the new trilogy.

Do you think Kylo Ren is a Sith? Let me know in the comments below.